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South Korea provides US$60 million in concessional loans for Tunisian land infrastructure development

South Korea's Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), which is responsible for implementing concessional loans, has agreed to provide US$60 million for a land information system construction project in Tunisia.

This project is part of EDCF’s commitment to enhance digital and green official development assistance (ODA), which are key aspects of South Korea’s New Deal Plan.

News article – FN Times (in Korean)

South Korean politicians discuss methods for improving global health assistance to support partner countries’ global pandemic response

Members of the national assembly of South Korea, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, organized a seminar on South Korea’s global health assistance strategy in the COVID-19 era.

Politicians from both ruling and opposition parties remarked on the necessity to strengthen global cooperation to respond to the global pandemic and for South Korea to strengthen its global partnerships and humanitarian assistance activities to support partner countries’ COVID-19 responses.

The seminar also brought together representatives of academia, the private sector company, and several government ministries, including the ministries of foreign affairs, health, and economy and finance. The Foreign Ministry representative commented on the need to increase strategic partnerships with global health initiatives while better preparing for future pandemics through the expansion of finance and stronger engagement with the Global Disease Eradication Fund (GDEF).

Currently, South Korea’s contributions to global health initiatives, including Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, come from the GDEF which is based on a levy on international flights.

News article – Akom News (in Korean)

South Korean government proposes US$3.8 billion for 2022 ODA budget

The Committee for International Development and Cooperation (CIDC) of South Korea released its proposed official development assistance (ODA) budget for 2022, which amounted to KRW4.20 trillion (US$3.8 billion).

This is an increase of KRW458.0 billion (US$418 million) and 12% from 2021. The share of bilateral assistance is set at 82% and that of the grant is set at 62%. While South Korea prioritizes Asia, which is the target region of its major foreign policies (the New Southern Policy and the New Northern Policy), the share of bilateral assistance to Africa increased slightly from 19% to 20%.

Key priority sectors are in the order of health, transportation, and education. Both health ODA and humanitarian assistance increased by around 2% from 2021. South Korea will increase the amount of health ODA to the partner countries of its New Southern Policy, which are the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and India, by 1.5 times between 2020 and 2022.

Press release – Office of the Prime Minister (in Korean)

South Korea unveils Green New Deal ODA strategy

The Committee for International Development and Cooperation (CIDC) of South Korea announced the Green New Deal official development assistance (ODA) strategy as part of its foreign assistance strategy. The main objective of the strategy is for South Korea to lead global climate change response and green recovery. Specifically, the strategy mentions the following three priorities:

  • Support partner countries’ green transition by increasing the share of green ODA above that of the OECD DAC (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee) average by 2025, supporting the establishment of a Green New Deal ecosystem fit for partner countries, and excavating flagship projects tailored to partner countries;
  • Support Green New Deal ODA by leading global discussions and initiatives on green ODA, enhancing South Korea’s leadership on the issue, increasing contributions to green-related international organizations including the Green Climate Fund and the Global Green Growth Institute, and expanding partnerships with UN agencies and multilateral development banks; and
  • Expand mutually prosperous partnerships with partner countries, enhancing synergies with other domestic and foreign policies, and increasing effectiveness by following up with old projects.

Press release – Office of the Prime Minister (in Korean)

South Korea and Global Green Growth Institute partner up for climate response in Uzbekistan

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) have partnered up to support response to the climate emergency in the Aral Sea region of Uzbekistan.

KOICA will provide US$6 million for a community-based green reconstruction in the country, which will be implemented between 2021 and 2024. The project will include actions to improve access to financial services for local businesses and farmers and develop climate adaptation agri-business models for local businesses.

Press release – KOICA (in Korean)

South Korea’s grant assistance agency partners with UN agencies to support COVID-19 response for children in Indonesia

South Korea's Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) announced that it will partner with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to improve children’s health in Indonesia during COVID-19 and will provide US$2 million for project implementation.

KOICA appointed eight countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America (including Indonesia, Vietnam, Colombia, and Ethiopia) as the target countries of its COVID-19 response support program. Indonesia is a key partner of South Korea’s New Southern Policy and is a priority partner country for South Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) for 2021-2025.

Press release – KOICA (in Korean)

South Korea pledges US$7 million to UN agencies to achieve SDG 5 on gender equality in Egypt

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) announced that it will provide US$4 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and US$3 million to UN Women by 2024 to help Egypt achieve the fifth UN sustainable development goal (SDG 5) on gender equality.

KOICA will support efforts to prevent gender-based violence, the UNFPA's gender equality response project, and UN Women's women’s economic empowerment project.

Egypt was newly selected as a priority partner country for South Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) for 2021-2025.

News article – Money S (in Korean)

South Korea’s grant assistance agency to support COVID-19 vaccinations in Vietnam

South Korea's Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) announced that it will support COVID-19 vaccinations in Vietnam, in partnership with the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.

South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology of Vietnam, and it will implement a vaccination response system and promote capacity building of health and medical personnel with the contribution of almost US$3 million.

News article – Herald Economy (in Korean)

South Korea pledges US$600 million over next five years for energy investment in Africa

South Korea's Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF), together with the African Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of Korea, signed the Korea-Africa Energy Investment Framework (KAEIF) with a budget of up to US$600 million over the next five years.

This financial support will be used to implement energy infrastructure projects across African nations.

Press release – Yonhap Infomax (in Korean)

South Korea’s grant agency commits US$13 million for agricultural development in Vietnam

South Korea's Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) announced that it will invest US$13 million by 2030 for human resource development in Vietnam's livestock industry, in partnership with the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

This investment will support the Vietnamese government’s goal of increasing the share of livestock in the agricultural sector to 40% by 2030.

News article – Yonhap News (in Korean)

South Korea provides US$4 million in humanitarian assistance to Venezuela

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of South Korea pledged at least US$4 million in humanitarian assistance for refugees and migrants in Venezuela for 2021 at the International Donors’ Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants held on June 17, 2021.

The conference was held to promote awareness of the humanitarian situation in Venezuela, where the second-largest displacement crisis in the world is occurring.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

South Korean experts suggest way forward for South Korea’s official development assistance in COVID-19 era

The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), a South Korean think tank, organized a seminar on the role of South Korea in the COVID-19 era with South Korean experts, including those from KIEP, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Some of the suggestions made at the conference to help partner countries respond to the COVID-19 crisis and any other future pandemics include the following:

  • South Korea should support vaccine supply chains such as cold chains in partner countries since there have been instances of vaccines provided via COVAX, the global vaccine initiative, being discarded due to mismanagement of the temperature or not being provided within the expiration date;
  • South Korea should support supply infrastructure enhancement of its partner countries when donating vaccines; and
  • Global leaders should make additional investments for economic support for the infrastructural development of partner countries.

News article – Hankyoreh (in Korean)

South Korea’s efforts to enhance partner countries’ access to COVID-19 vaccines will include North Korea, says South Korean President

South Korea's President Jae-in Moon commented on June 14, 2021, that South Korea’s efforts to become a global vaccine production hub for COVID-19 and thereby increasing partner countries’ access to COVID-19 vaccines will also include North Korea.

Should North Korea agree, the South Korean government is willing to cooperate on the matter, which is also supported by the US and its humanitarian assistance support to North Korea.

News article – Hankyoreh (in Korean)

South Korean President Moon commits US$200 million to COVAX Advance Market Commitment

South Korea's President Jae-in Moon announced that South Korea would contribute US$200 million at the G7 Summit on June 12, 2021, to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for 2021-2022 to enhance partner countries’ access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Of the US$200 million, South Korean government will provide US$100 million in grant assistance in 2021 and an additional US$100 million in cash or material form in 2022.

In 2020, South Korea pledged US$10 million to COVAX AMC.

News article – KBS World

South Korea launches task force to expand global supply of COVID-19 vaccines

South Korea has launched a task force to promote South Korea's development into a global vaccine production hub, dedicated to enhancing the production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines domestically and globally.

Consisting of members from multiple ministries, including those finance, foreign affairs, science and technology, and small-medium enterprises and startups, the task force will develop policy and financial support for vaccine production. It will also cooperate with the private sector to maximize domestic production capacity.

Press release – Ministry of Health and Welfare (in Korean)

P4G Summit highlights importance of public-private partnership in climate response

The Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals 2030 (P4G) Summit, held May 30-31, 2021, adopted the Seoul Declaration as its outcome document, highlighting the need for stronger public-private partnerships in global climate change mitigation.

The Declaration recognizes the importance of inclusive partnership with public and private stakeholders to achieve the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, it highlighted the increase of public-private funding for green investments, support for green transition in partner countries, and the increase of investment in market-based solutions in line with the SDGs.

News article – Yonhap News

South Korea provides US$50 million in concessional loans to Central American Bank for Economic Integration

South Korea's Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), which oversees concessional loans, has signed a credit facility agreement with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) to provide US$50 million in concessional loans to CABEI in support of Central American partner countries' COVID-19 response.

The fund will support health infrastructure development in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Dominican Republic.

News article – Global Economic (in Korean)

Stressing global solidarity, South Korean health minister calls for expansion of COVID-19 vaccine production capacity

Minister Deok-cheol Kwon of the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea gave a keynote speech at the 74th World Health Assembly and emphasized the need for global solidarity and expanding COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity.

In particular, he suggested global partnership on accelerating vaccine and therapeutics development through simplifying clinical trials, enhancing vaccine manufacturing capacity through technology transfer and finding new manufacturing sites, and improving global health risk response systems to prevent future pandemics.

News article – Yonhap News

South Korea and US discuss stronger partnership on global health, climate, Latin America, North Korea

South Korean President Jae-in Moon and US President Joe Biden discussed matters concerning global health, the climate crisis, development assistance to Latin America, and humanitarian assistance to North Korea and published them in a joint statement on May 21, 2021.

Through the KORUS Global Vaccine Partnership, the two countries will aim to expand COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing to respond to increasing global demand in partnership with COVAX (the global vaccine initiative) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). In particular, the South Korean government will substantially increase its contribution to COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) in 2021, although the exact amount was not disclosed. It will also provide US$200 million for 2021-2025 to support the Global Health Security Agenda.

With regards to climate change, South Korea will host the P4G Seoul Summit on May 30-31, 2021. The two heads of state will also cooperate at global venues to end new state financing for coal-fired power plants.

The two leaders discussed development assistance to partner countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, to which the South Korean government will provide US$220 million in 2021-2024. They also committed to providing humanitarian assistance to North Korea and improving the human rights of North Koreans.

Press release – White House

Global Green Growth Institute urges South Korea to increase climate ODA

In an op-ed, Deputy Director-General Hyoeun Kim of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Seoul, urged the South Korean government to increase its official development assistance (ODA) on the environment and climate change response.

While commending the government’s Green New Deal policy, including investment of KRW 73.00 trillion (US$67.0 billion) by 2025 for energy transition, low-carbon infrastructure development, and more, the Deputy Director-General argued the importance of supporting the South Korean private sector’s contribution to low-carbon development in partner countries through comprehensive partnerships. Such partnerships should be based on ODA, private investments, as well as the expertise and network of international organizations on climate change based in Seoul, Kim wrote.

Op-ed – JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean)